Thursday, October 20, 2016


Some thoughts that probably make sense:

God did not make ugly kittens; He knew cats would be a hard sell.

A plant that self-seeds into a crack the size of a toothpick is a kind of “nature wins” event we will never understand.

From 105 The River: “The fact that jelly fish have survived for 650 million years despite not having brains gives hope to many people.”

It only takes one person to think positive about a community to start a positive movement:  Thanks to all the “City of Go” volunteers who are making a difference throughout Galva.

Finding and visiting a restaurant that uses seasonal local produce is a wonderful thing for:  the farmer, the restaurateur and your little tummy.

For some folks, the speck of human frailty is only in the other person’s eye.    

In this area of the Midwest, we need to stop and realize we aren’t in the middle of California wild fires, Louisiana floods, Middle East religious’ wars, urban crime, West Coast drought, Texas border issues, China’s air pollution nor wars that have left so many children orphans.  You and I are Blessed beyond measure.

If you haven’t heard at least one person say, “That’s the best looking corn I’ve ever seen.” this year, you haven’t been to a coffee shop.

The organizers of the Back Roads Music Fest should be on the cover of Time magazine for being optimistic, intelligent and a huge benefit to our community.

The components are all there to form a Galva Historical Association; To preserve, publicize and enhance.

The laziest thing you can do is think in negative terms.

When we think of economic development, we often dream of bringing in big businesses.  But the backbone of small towns is the privately owned mom and pop stores, factories and enterprises.  Thank your local business owners for making your life better and then support them!

If you’ve ever read a newspaper published in another town, you have to realize we have one of the best weeklies in the US!  We don’t have to like everything they print – we just have to appreciate all it takes to be there for us.

Speaking of the Galva News, take a scroll through the G.N. Facebook page and it soon becomes evident just how many volunteer groups and local businesses are working to better our local communities.

Every time I see a weed has been pulled from a public garden area, I know our communities are thriving in ways we don’t always notice.

If you’ve never seen where bad things can be the stepping stone for good things, then take a look at the work going on in the old furniture store/doctor offices – pretty darn wowzer.

Does anyone but me look at Patrick Sloan volunteering his music and think, “That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”

Although the whole “competition” thing sometimes gets in the way, supporting all the little towns around us only benefits us as a whole. 

When I see a farmer wear bib overalls it still makes me nostalgic.  Everyone should own at least one pair because they are seriously the most comfortable hard-work attire made.  (Do farmers wear attire??)

For those in the national media who think all of America hangs on to every little political tidbit – they should have seen the reaction of the crowds along the Galva 4th of July parade.  Bring on the many queens and their courts, the tractors, the floats, the kids, the trucks and for anyone under ten, THE CANDY!  But politics in parades – yawn.

The day someone coined, “Enquiring minds want to know.” is the day the national media started that slow slippery slide into a baloney sandwich without the bread.

If you grew up before politically correct, parental hovering, instant gratification, everyone having their own vehicle, phone, computer and your wishes or opinions  trumped those of adults - then you are an old person.  And I mean that in the kindest way.  And our parents meant it in the kindest way.  And it might be kind today.

And in conclusion my friend:  The “Sweet smell of success” is called sweat equity.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

Every time I write a story it’s because I’ve been inspired by something I’ve seen or heard.   I was inspired recently by a beautiful “moss garden.”
A little moss garden from Pinterest

First:  Moss is not mildew and doesn’t damage other plants and household surfaces the way mildew does.  Although I’d keep it off cedar roof shingles.

The facts:  Technically moss is a plant although it doesn’t have true leaves, branches or roots.  Since it doesn’t have roots, it must absorb water in other ways.  Also, it has no seeds but spreads by spores or division.  Typically, it grows in colonies.

The needs:  Moisture – just damp not swampy.  Shade – keeps it from drying out as quickly.  Acidic soil – A pH of about 5.5.  Compacted soil – prefers compacted clay soil.

The attitude:  If you have the needs met and you have moss growing – stop trying to get rid of it!  It’s like having the perfect conditions for roses and killing them because you want a sand lot.  Just stop!
Moss rock garden from Pinterest

Developing a moss garden can start with that bit you already have growing.  Keep your new moss garden in that general area since you already know it has the right conditions. 

The warnings:  Moss harvested in deep shade will not grow as well in an open lightly shaded area.  Yes, there are many different moss varieties.  If you harvest your own, try to plant in a similar situation.  If you buy, ask the seller which is right for your spot.

Transplanting:  Best time is spring or fall when there’s the most rainfall to help it quickly establish.  Make sure the area is free of other growth (weeds, grass etc.) and simply lay your moss start onto the damp soil, press gently and water.  For the first year, don’t allow it to dry out.  Once established it will only need water if there’s a drought.
Moss covered cement via Pinterest

I had a little moss garden in the back yard at my Galva house.  I placed a bench, had some old rocks and bricks around for visual depth and it was ever so lovely to walk on with bare feet.  I’d “groom” my little spot by sitting and pulling any weeds (there wasn’t many) and picking off any sticks and leaves.  It’s an amazingly “garden Zen-like” task.

Moss gardens can be tiny, in little pots or logs, or large as in acres if you develop the right conditions.  They may compliment other shade plants such as Hosta, ferns, or impatiens.  Moss gardens look lovely with Japanese gardens or even small raked gravel areas.

If you want to add moss to cement statues or rocks, try adding some moss to buttermilk, mix well and brushing on the area of the statue/cement/rock that’s been soaked in water. Keep it moist by misting until established.  Never hit moss with the hard jet spray or it will be pulled out and destroyed.

Moss will take some gentle foot traffic but will not hold up to hard traffic or tires.  Moss can be used as part of fairy gardens; it lends a mystical look.   It doesn’t work for playgrounds.

Moss is a wild plant so don’t take huge amounts from woodland areas and especially if it’s not your woodland.  National Forests (and some State and local parks) prohibit harvesting any vegetation. 
A small portion of Dale Sievert's moss gardens.

If you’d like inspiration, check out Dale Sievert’s blog:

If you crave – NEED – serenity and calm, consider a moss garden.  It can be a process that enriches you as it enriches your plot of land.  You may find you are embracing natural garden things you hadn’t imagined you’d love:  fog and dew, lack of lawn grasses, an old world vibe and the textures of green. 
Back yard moss garden from Pinterest

If you’re wondering if it a moss garden will hold up to our winters, Mr. Sievert’s gardens are in Wisconsin and do nicely.  Mine was in little Galva Illinois and did nicely.  If you’re new to moss gardening, start small and learn as you go.  A little pot of moss beside your kitchen sink, under the cabinet, in a sweet little saucer could be all you need.  Ten acres, landscaped and groomed, well maybe someday – just maybe someday.